Training your buyer isn’t what it used to be!

Now some people would refer to me as a bit crazy, but I beg to differ on their opinion by saying I am flat out nuts (at least at times). Another gem from my past begins about 18 years ago at an antique / flea market show I was doing in Kansas City.

I was setting up my booth early on the morning of the show, and into my booth walks an individual whom I know but do not particularily care much about. His passion was collecting antique radios which at the time my own tastes ran parallel to his. In fact that is how I became to know of him.

Now to let you understand what this particular man was about, a conversation with another friend of mine gave me the best description of this guy. His evaluation of the man was that he was the nicest guy you would ever meet until you did any business with him. In this case, if you ever tried to sell, buy or trade an antique radio with him, he would be just as happy to skin you alive and let the buzzards pick your bones than make a decent deal with you.

Anyway getting back to the story, he comes into my booth early this morning, and begins looking at the radio related items I was displaying. He comes upon a crystal radio (1920’s if not a bit earlier). I had just purchased this radio the previous day at a garage sale for 25 cents, but I knew the retail value to be around $125.00, so I priced the radio at $95.00 so it would sell quickly and pass on a bit of the good price.

He turns to me and in his usual condescending tone, tells me that he would be willing to give me ten dollars for the radio. I politely refused, and started to move away when he grabs my arm and becomes insistent on me selling him this radio at his “offer”. I again refused and tried to pull away. At this point he remarks in his snotty way “It is only worth 15 dollars at the most”.

Now normally I am a calm and easy going type of guy, but this individual just plain rubbed me wrong. I am getting angrier by the second as he continues to jabber on about what bad condition the radio was in, and how he was doing me a favor by offering as much as he did.

I snatched the radio out of his hands, and began admonishing him. I told him if that was all it was worth, then ……..and before I knew what I was doing, I threw the radio on the ground and stomped it flat. Picking up the smashed piece, I held it forth and told him that I would take his offer now.

He stood there, with his mouth wide open (kind of like a fish gasping for air) and totally speechless for a few minutes. Finally he manages to to stammer out “I was going to buy that radio” and added “What do you think you are doing?”

I grinned at him and told him it was my radio and I could do as I please, and would he kindly exit my display area. At this he turned and stomped out of the booth muttering to himself all the way.

I do not really know what prompted my outburst, but one thing kept coming back to me, that was the best 25 cents I ever spent!

Interesting sub note; In the years following the incident, whenever this guy walked into my booth, and wanted to buy anything, he always paid the marked price in full, never again to try and low ball me.

Isn’t life grand?!!